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An organisation founded in Germany to spread the word about wind energy has completed its first successful foray abroad, taking information and technology to Indonesia and Vietnam. Workshops were held by German Renewable Energy Enterprises (GREE) in Jakarta and Ho-chi-Minh City in early July and were attended by government officials from the highest level.

Only recently founded, GREE, based in the north German city of Kiel, aims to internationally promote the renewables industry of Schleswig-Holstein.

During the course of the workshops, initial agreements were drawn up with Indonesia for German support for a wind atlas, a wind test station, and a demonstration wind project. This could take the form of a solar/wind/biomass/diesel project or several large wind turbines supplying the grid.

Vietnam will receive help in four main areas: assessing the country's wind potential; optimisation of very small wind turbines; preparation of the market for the economic use of wind turbines; and the transfer of hybrid system know-how. GREE will support the work of private individuals and technical colleges in building very small turbines of 3 kW-5 kW. German know-how will be offered to improve existing designs -- such as improving the quality of power output so that it can be used for purposes other than charging batteries -- and also for the manufacture of larger machines from 5 kW to 40 kW. GREE also hopes to inform local enterprises of the economic use of large turbines and to find ways of financing the installation of turbines at sites which are inaccessible to normal grid connection.

The wind potential in Indonesia is largely an unknown quantity, admits GREE. At least in Vietnam, it is clear that large coastal areas are suitable for using wind power even though no formal wind measurements have been made. "The governments of both countries made it clear they are interested only in package solutions, that is, from the technology and installation through to education and service, whereby education plays a particularly important role," reports Heinz Max Klinger, representing the Schleswig-Holstein Investment Bank, the driving force behind the founding of GREE.

The bank's Klaus Rave prophesies: "GREE will use these contacts to publicise the broad experience of Schleswig-Holstein as wind region number one and bring information about its special products way beyond the boundaries of the state. "

So far GREE has six members and can also draw on two associate members -- a centre for alternative technology in Glücksberg called "artefact" and on Windtest, a wind energy testing institute at Kaiser Wilhelm Koog. They are providing back-up in the form of technical advice and information.

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